Reigns: Her Majesty

Games TM - - CONTENTS -

Rul­ing a king­dom isn’t easy. But in a game where there are 26 deaths to col­lect, chances of in­trigu­ing en­coun­ters each time you gasp out your last breath, and dif­fer­ent events for ev­ery sin­gle round, wise gov­er­nance is pretty much op­tional.

This isn’t just a case of flick­ing cards left and right with the reck­less aban­don of Tin­der. Sure, you have to choose with the same cau­tion whether to blow off your corona­tion party or greet a vis­it­ing King and his Queen with cloy­ing cor­dial­ity, but there’s a twist: be­fore each new life starts, you’re faced with a horo­scope clock. Ev­ery queen has her own star sign, which in truly cos­mic fash­ion de­ter­mines what kind of cards you’ll run into. More war, bet­ter chance at ro­mance, that kind of thing. You know they’re spe­cial by the small sym­bol in the cor­ner, so ev­ery time you run into one there’s an ex­hil­a­rat­ing chance to make this rare en­counter count. Such a sim­ple ad­di­tion makes each queen feel like she’s ac­tu­ally jug­gling wildly dif­fer­ent pol­i­tics from her pre­de­ces­sor.

You soon fig­ure out which star sign you’ll need to rule in to com­plete cer­tain mile­stones, but the ti­tle cards at the be­gin­ning of each reign sure help too. Short and snappy (hope­fully not like your neck at the end of your monar­chy), they set the stage for how your pre­vi­ous queen left the coun­try and what new chal­lenges her heir faces. So, rather can­nily, if you rule flip­pantly you’ll have a devil of a time in your next life. Speak­ing of lives, there are wickedly clever ap­pear­ances from the omi­nous All-mother and in­fu­ri­at­ing duel mas­ter to keep you on your toes. The former de­liv­ers threat­en­ing prophe­cies, and the other spouts em­pow­er­ing sta­tis­tics with me­chan­i­cal fer­vour, or in­vites you to share its bo­gus fem­i­nist per­centile re­sults. By god, it’s funny.

And as with most games, there are is­sues. Ob­jects given to you by char­ac­ters are stored at the bot­tom of the screen, ready to be used – although it’s not en­tirely ob­vi­ous when that should be. Some­times a char­ac­ter will straight-up ask for one, yet mostly you’re left to guess when would be wise to chuck a USB stick of your re­sults in some­one’s face or chal­lenge them to a duel. Get it wrong once too of­ten, and you’ll get be­headed for such reck­less aban­don. So it’s easy to get stuck in the same cy­cle of af­fairs (the dull kind, although you can ro­mance char­ac­ters) with­out much clue as to which ob­ject thrown at which card would get you out of your rut.

Im­prov­ing upon the orig­i­nal game in al­most ev­ery way, Reigns: Her Majesty is de­vi­ously fun, dan­ger­ously ad­dic­tive, and has a sense of hu­mour way bet­ter than any court jester.

above: No one said be­ing Queen was easy, and some­times there’s just no win­ning against the stu­pid­ity of your court… and king­dom.

su­per mario run

Gwent

above: Watch out for the All-mother: is she friend or foe? Dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters will tell you what to think, but be care­ful…

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